The problem is that over the 15 years that she has been working at this organization, the group has grown from 20 employees to over 200 employees and independent contractors. Being in the field of social services, the workers prefer a flat organization in which each person has some say in their work. At the same time, the administration in this field has become very structured with mandates at the Federal, state, and local (county) levels, sometimes contradicting each other. The problem then becomes how to coordinate the paperwork needed while giving equal input into the process.
My brother-in-law, married to the corporate top down total control of the entire process philosophy of management was advocating having the directors wrest control of the process and "making" the employees follow the rules. However, this is like herding geese (notice I said geese and not cats) in that those that don't want to be herded will turn around and bite. Others will just fly the coupe. So I suggested using a wiki. I gave my sister the web address for PBWiki as it is password protected (there needs to be security), so she could play around with it before presenting it as an option to help the work process.
Yesterday, my sister called. She was so excited that:
- She, a 50 something, brought in technology that no one else had heard of in the organization
- She had set up a wiki that could be used by the team and the parent (she went well beyond what I could have imagined) all by herself
- The parent she was working with thought she was really cool in being able to communicate using modern ways
- Her group could now work together better to provide better service
This got me to thinking, how can we make others aware of programs and technological solutions to their organizational communication problems? How can we make those decision makers and workers who have some influence aware of the current management practices and the new ways to configure work tasks so they will look for new tools to help them?